Mazepin’s contract with Haas was terminated before the 2022 season due to Russia, the country of his birth, invading Ukraine.
Mazepin’s five-stage exit plan
The Russian driver said: “At this weekend’s F1 race in Abu Dhabi. Nice to be here as a guest and see old friends. Got me thinking about some words of wisdom I can share with Seb, Daniel, Nicky and Mick as they get ready to move on. So, here’s what awaits you in the 5 stages of departing the stable…
“You will find yourself driving circles around your apartment building. Don’t make the mistake I made – turn on your stopwatch. It’s entirely possible that another F1 team will be interested in your results and you won’t have to endure the next 4 stages.
“You blame everyone but yourself for having to leave F1. Particularly the ‘Drive to Survive’ film crew. You watch the races obsessively and yell at the screen.
“Bargaining. You hold a press conference where you put on a brave face and thank the team principal who fired you in hopes that your cheerful smile and natural charm will get you a seat with a new team.
“Drink, party on yacht, sleep it off, gain 5 kilos. Repeat on endless loop. This will not be an easy stage to get through, but your friends will enjoy it.”
“Congratulations. You’ve reached the final Grand Prix of being shown the exit. You stop obsessing about F1 and start thinking about your next steps.. while keeping yourself in shape and keeping the door open for a return!”
Mazepin’s kind words to the departing drivers
“Vettel, total respect to your climate initiatives. I’m sure they will be of great use not only to the racing community.
“Ricciardo, I know you will always keep your sense of humor. I predict great things for you in Stage 4, where you can drink all kinds of things out of your shoes. Be creative!
“Nicholas, thanks to you, the team and fans can look optimistically into the future. No doubt you will surprise us.
“Mick, we grew up in this sport together, and I wish you luck going forward. I’m sure we will get a lot of likes from Pierre Gasly.
“Peace and love to all.”